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Julián Castro’s Three Challenges at HUD — The Short Answer

Wall Street Journal

July 09, 2014, By Joe Light

 

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday confirmed San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro as the new secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Castro, 39 years old, is a rising star in the Democratic Party and has been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate. But right now, he faces a number of challenges.

How will he handle the transition from a national housing crisis to an uneven recovery?

In January 2009, when HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan was sworn in, the housing market was in free fall, with home prices down nearly 20% in a year. That led administration to unveil large-scale programs to stem waves of foreclosures.

Now that the recovery in home prices is well under way, Mr. Castro’s job will likely focus on using HUD resources to support  communities that have been left behind, says Jim Parrott, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute and former housing adviser in the Obama White House.

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